The annual Betting on Sports (BOS) opened its doors today at London’s Olympia, an event that has managed to expand exponentially in size since its inception six years ago.
Organized by SBC Events, BOS has grown into a week long affair, encompassing a two-day conference and expo with a focus on the sports betting industry in addition to the ESI Forum, CasinoBeats Forum, Affiliate FEST, SBC Sponsorship Forum, Hall of Fame Awards, multiple specialized VIP networking dinners and several official networking parties.
Now that BOS has earned its right as THE sports betting event of the year, operators and suppliers have flagged the event as an opportunity to reveal new products and partnerships. For example, sports media specialist ISG announced their ground-breaking partnership with Formula 1, paving the way for betting brand F1 sponsorships and data-driven F1 betting opportunities.
“The partnership that was announced yesterday, there were a number of elements to it. One element of that is that we’ll be bringing big betting brands around the world into the races themselves, so the races are broadcasted all over the world and then in the different regions around the world. You’ll see major betting brands appearing track-side for the first time ever in Formula 1”, ISG’s Group CEO Chris Buckley told CalvinAyre.com.
“The second element is Formula 1 is probably the greatest sport when it comes to data, the technology behind Formula 1 is phenomenal, huge amounts of data are created every second of every race so we’ll be working with Sportradar, another partner of ours, to help develop products for the betting market to create betting in-running opportunities around Formula 1”, he added.
“At the same time Sportradar will be driving integrity services for Formula 1 so they will be monitoring the betting markets to ensure the integrity of the sport is kept intact. So there’s a whole range of things like that which is just creating more and more interest in the betting market for what is one of the most exciting sports in the world”, Buckley shared.
Another global sport that is ripe for betting opportunities, especially in the Far East, is snooker and today’s panel on the subject featured the legend himself, Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan.
“Most sports are good for betting but the snooker culture has always been a lot of betting, even at a grassroots level”, O’Sullivan exclusively told CalvinAyre.com.
“I think it matches well obviously with BetCris, a lot of their stuff is done out in the Far East and South America…I’ve had a great time working with BetCris, they’ve been fantastic supporting me over the last two years so its always nice to be able to give back to them as well and I think I’ve had a good last couple of years”, he added.
O’Sullivan just returned from Asia with yet another victory at the Shanghai Masters, further supporting the notion that O’Sullivan is simply the best in the world when it comes to snooker. An avid runner and healthy lifestyle enthusiast, O’Sullivan believes its important to keep one’s body and mind in shape to perform best.
“I think its important to get the heart rate up, so it doesn’t matter what you do. I first got into it through running…last week I was in China and I was thinking, where can I go for a run and I was afraid I was going to get lost, so I had to make do with the gym”, he said.
“I was in the gym twice a day most days and I’d just get on the cross-trainer, get in some weights, do a few exercises and I just did what I felt like and it was great…just as long as I was exercising the muscles. I think its just good to keep the body moving”, O’Sullivan added.
Sports betting brands are keen on expanding their reach to a global level, but this desire comes along with challenges, especially when it comes to sporting events and their respective time zones. Just ahead of BOS, SIS revealed their new “Watch and Bet” solution, providing an opportunity for operators to offer quality 24/7 content for their punters.
“Whether its retail, digital or mobile, a customer can watch horse racing, greyhound racing, virtual racing in between and bet on it 24 hours a day. That means it works in every time zone for every kind of operator”, SIS’s Product Director Paul Witten shared.
“The type of content is really important…because where ever you are in the world, what’s important in one place is not as important in the other…its the right content at the right time so every operator gets something that’s really usable for them”, Witten added.
Sports betting platform provider FSB Tech has been enjoying explosive growth over the past four years, both from an employee and business perspective. With their modular approach and recent launch of a retail product offering, FSB Tech have positioned themselves as a provider for any type of sports betting operator, anywhere in the world.
“The first couple of years we were just very focused on the UK and now we are definitely moving into other territories”, FSB’s Biz Dev Director Richard Thorp explained.
“Africa was a very large growth area probably over the last two years and now Asia and obviously the US are becoming very interesting. We’ve just launched a sports betting area into a large casino in Manila in the Philippines and I think there’s a lot more opportunity in that same territory which is very exciting”, Thorp said.
While FSB Tech has been exhibiting at more major gambling industry expos for some time now, 2018 marks the first year the supplier has booked a booth at Betting on Sports.
“We were always previously a bit of a word of mouth business and we started to have stands at some of the major exhibitions in the UK and this is our first proper foray with the SBC and Rasmus and I think its actually been really useful”, Thorp shared.
“We’re definitely going to have a larger marketing spend next year – which might mean that lots of people are going to contact us (laughs) – but I think it is useful to get that brand awareness out there, people can actually come and have a conversation with us and see what we do”, he said.